Afew days ago, a heinous crime in Cotabato rocked the entire nation. A teenage brother and sister were murdered in broad daylight in their own home. While the police are getting closer and closer to the truth, netizens have different speculation on who to blame for the crime. Here’s what we know so far about the brutal murder of the Maguad siblings.[Editor’s note: An update on this case has been added at the end of this article.]
A brutal crime involving teenage siblings
The Maguad siblings aged 18 and 16 years old were found beaten and brutally murdered inside their house in Barangay Bagontapay, Cotabato last December 10. Reports say that three men broke into the household and committed the crime around 2 PM. The siblings’ parents at the time were at the Buayan Elementary School where their mother serves as principal and their father as a teacher.
Mr. Maguad tearfully recalled how he received a call around 2:58 PM from a friend that told him their house was ransacked. At 3:15 PM, he arrived home and discovered what happened to his children. His daughter was stabbed to death, lying in her own blood, and his son was gagged and tied a few steps away.
A lone survivor
There was a lone survivor at the scene of the crime, a visiting cousin “adopted” by the family last July 2021. Cristine (not her real name), a minor, managed to lock herself in a room and called for help by posting on social media. All her posts about the crime have since been deleted. She also reportedly called Mrs. Maguad’s phone at around 3 PM but the latter failed to answer.
Cristine’s testimony is important to the police’s ongoing investigation. Especially since she was the only one who supplied authorities with the information about the three attackers who remain unknown. Cristine is now under the care of the local social welfare office.
An investigation is underway
Town police chief Lt. Realan Manon says the criminal won’t go unpunished. Authorities have already formed a special investigation task group headed by Lt. Mary Grace Clua, the head of the CIDG-North Cotabato. This is composed of investigators from the police provincial office, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) – North Cotabato, the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO), and the local police. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is also requested to look into the crime.
According to SITG Lt. Col. Bernard Tayong, they are now waiting for the PNP Crime Lab to crossmatch everything they found on the crime scene for fingerprints. Since the affidavits and testimonial evidence are complete, the results of the laboratory will allow them to file complaints against their persons of interest.
Monetary rewards are also offered for those who can point to the suspects. M’lang Vice Mayor Joselito Piñol and Tulunan town Mayor Pip Limbungan offered PHP200,000 and PHP50,000 respectively.
Netizens cry for justice
tw // murder
if you see this, please make noise about the situation of Maguad Siblings. days had passed, but there were no media coverage. let’s help the victims and their family to serve them proper justice.#JusticeforMaguadSiblings pic.twitter.com/V5pO0Hjoht
— siey (@CAY4N6) December 14, 2021
A couple of days after the crime, Pinoy netizens got wind about it. The hashtag #JusticeforMaguadSiblings trended on Twitter with many using the power of the Internet to encourage others to spread awareness and help in any way they can. Crimes have been solved with the help of social media before. The hope is that potential eyewitnesses and those who know something can come forward to help speed up the investigation.
When I thought about the MAGUAD siblings, I couldn’t help myself but to feel sympathy and sadness for those who loved them dearly. They could’ve had a bright future ahead of them, they don’t deserve any merciless and inhumane act. #JusticeforMaguadSiblings pic.twitter.com/hDg1x6Y97E
— ム乇ﾚの (@_rgelorodriguez) December 11, 2021
Some crimes need to be ‘viral’ not so that curious people would know the gruesome details but to get responsible people to act and do their best to achieve justice. #JusticeForMaguadSiblings
— Eufy Fight! #MABUHAYangFrontliners (@eufems) December 14, 2021
They are from our Province and the girl was studying at the University where I graduated. Most of my teachers from the Uni say that they are brilliant children.
— Jonie💜🌻🌟🇵🇭 🎫 (@ArmyTitaJonie7) December 14, 2021
i hope those who brutally murdered the Maguad siblings will rot not only behind bars but also in burning hell.#JusticeforMaguadSiblings
— gwen ♡ (@_gwynevereee) December 14, 2021
Was it a robbery?
Details of the disturbing case were brought to light after the initial investigation. Robbery is one angle the police are considering but there seems to be nothing missing from the household. The weapons used against the siblings were reportedly the 16-year-old’s own baseball bat, the father’s hammer, and a knife. Broken bottles were also found near the bodies. Outside the house, a bloodstained shirt was discovered which seems to have been worn by the attacker.
Mr. Maguad told authorities that only family members knew where the bat and the hammer were placed. The hammer, he said, was placed in the laundry area where only his daughter and Cristine knew about it. As for the baseball bat, it was kept in the second deck of the bed that Cristine is using.
But netizens suspect a different thing
there are some speculations that the murderer is their friends or something close to the heart of the victims. pic.twitter.com/c0ip2XWvRT
— julie 🍩 (@tzujuliee) December 14, 2021
After the hashtag trended on social media, netizens were quick to speculate about what happened. They seemed to find Cristine especially suspicious. Mr. Maguad recalled that when he arrived at the bloodbath at home, Cristine’s hair was wet and she explained she was taking a bath when he called her. The report also mentioned that Mrs. Maguad was surprised when Cristine started calling them “mama” and “papa” on the day of the crime.
As for the authorities, the SITG spokesperson Tayong said that Cristine went from being a survivor, to a normal victim, to one of the police’s persons of interest. She is also being investigated.
Netizens can’t help but compare what happened to the 2009 psychological thriller film Orphan. The film was about a family of four who adopted what they thought was a 9-year-old girl named Esther. It turns out Esther is actually a 33-year-old woman bent on killing each member of the family.
stop this comparing a real crime to a movie thing. these are real people involve and this doesn’t help the case at all. it’s also beyond disrecpectful especially to the family involved. #JusticeforMaguadSiblings pic.twitter.com/IXliFhoMQ8
— ً (@clemshat) December 14, 2021
How the family ended up adopting Cristine
During an interview, Mrs. Maguad recalled that it was her 18-year-old daughter who persuaded the family to take Cristine in. “She took care of her, treat her as her sister, provide what she want and we supported her,” she said. Netizens also got a hold of videos and photos where Cristine and the Maguad daughter seemed pretty close. As for her 16-year-old son, Mr. Maguad said he even gave up his room and chose to sleep in the living room so Cristine would be comfortable.
As speculations of Cristine’s involvement goes viral around social, Pinoys beg other netizens to refrain from posting photos of the siblings and spreading memes involving Cristine.
Innocent until proven guilty
Can we stop accusing “Cristine” & being “certain” na she killed the Maguad siblings? She may be suspicious, but innocent until declared not. Let’s call for justice, but stop hating her coz we’re depriving her the same justice we’re clamoring for. #JusticeforMaguadSiblings
— #LENILangAngKarapatDapat (@IvymbPilatan) December 15, 2021
The Internet can speculate but until authorities get to the bottom of what happened, everyone should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Maybe netizens have just watched one too many true crime documentaries to feel like they can solve this case while in bed, scrolling through Twitter. We should remember to respect the grieving parents caught in the middle of this whole crime. The police already have their leads and the rest of the nation can only hope they bring justice to the heartbreaking case soon.
[12/21/21] UPDATE: The confession
On December 20, 2021 — after six days of investigation — Cristine confessed to killing the siblings. She was allegedly jealous and angry with the siblings, which led to the crime. The siblings’ grieving parents expressed their gratitude to the M’lang Philippine National Police for their efforts.